Puerto Rico, the 51st State? (Puerto Rico, ¿un estado?)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by The Muffin Man, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. The Muffin Man macrumors regular

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    #1
    Puerto Rico could theoretically become a US state. Many people oppose this idea, but many also support it. I don't really understand why it should be either way, so please educate me by telling me your view and why.

    En teoría Puerto Rica se puede hacer un estado del EE.UU. Mucha gente oponen esta idea, pero mucha gente cree que debe pasar. En realidad no entiendo por qué debe ser en cualquier manera, pues por fa edúcame por decirme tu posición y tu razón.
     
  2. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a

    iLikeMyiMac

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    #2
    I think 50 is a nice round number for states and if its not a state then we don't have to remake the flag. I'm kidding these are terrible reasons against statehood.
    Puerto Ricans have twice voted to determine their political status. In 1967, the outcome was Commonwealth 60%; statehood 39%; independence 1%. In 1993, Commonwealth dropped to 48.6%; statehood rose to 46.3%; independence polled 4.4%; and 0.6% of the ballots were blank or spoiled.

    Under the Commonwealth formula, residents of Puerto Rico lack voting representation in Congress and do not participate in presidential elections. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are subject to military service and most federal laws. Residents of the Commonwealth pay no federal income tax on locally generated earnings, but Puerto Rico government income-tax rates are set at a level that closely parallels federal-plus-state levies on the mainland. source
     
  3. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #3
    I have no problem with Puerto Rico becoming a state or with staying a territory or deciding to become a soverign nation.
     
  4. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    It really needs to become a state or revert to being a country of its own. As a territory, it's a tax break for some large corporations such as Proctor & Gamble and nothing more.

    The trouble with making it a state is that the primary use of Spanish would have to go away. The U.S.A. already had a vote about languages over 100 years ago and English was the winner by one vote over German. While, the PRs I know speak great English, I can see a lot of others rejecting the loss of Spanish with some very strong words. Of course, here in Floriduh, our state-sanctioned language is English and yet, there is a high percentage of Spanish spoken.

    However, as a country, it would be in need of assistance a lot, I think. It has become dependent on the U.S.A. in many ways and if that support were withdrawn, PR would dwindle to nothingness and that would be a shame.
     
  5. The Muffin Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Actually, the German losing by one vote is false. It's an urban legend. But I do understand the language issue, although wouldn't it work for official documents to be in English with Spanish next to (or under) it? And also for schools to preserve Spanish by making children learn it along with Spanish?
     
  6. macsrus macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I think the U.S. Should release them from being a territory....
    Either they vote to join as a State or get rid of them...
    End the colonialism
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    Well perhaps Iraq can be #52 then and Iran #53, DPRK #54, Saudi Arabia #55.... Then we're nice and round again. :rolleyes:
     
  8. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #8
    All those people are US citizens. If Congress were to attempt unilaterally cutting the ties, there could be a serious refugee problem. Even if PR were to choose independence by an internal vote, there is a question about what happens to those who vote against.

    Virtually all US government services and forms are available in Spanish already, this is really not an issue.
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    I think self-determination is the key, if they want to live in limbo then so be it. I wonder if in ten years things will have changed?

    There is no official language of the USofA. What there is, is a desire to sell products and if it's necessary to use Spanish or Tagalog or French or Mandarin to do so then Americans will do so with pleasure.
     
  10. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    No, there is no reason for official documents to be in Spanish any more than they would be in any state. The only place there should be Spanish in a state is at an INS office. If the U.S.A. had continued to cater to other languages, there would still be signs in Italian, German, French, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Hungarian, and even Spanish. Pennsylvania, for instance, has driver's licence testing available in 86 languages. The signs are only available in one language. What's wrong with that picture?

    People coming to the U.S.A. fought to learn enough English to get along every day--they were proud of their accomplishment. English is a difficult language, to be sure, and more difficult than Spanish but not unmanageable. I hear a lot of people in this area not trying, not bothering to speak it because people let them. When I speak back to them in Japanese, they certainly seem to know English well enough. :D

    As far as children learning, they should be taught English and Spanish. No one should lose their heritage. It's more than okay to be a U.S. citizen and retain your family identity. That's what makes the U.S.A. great. If it was my choice, the U.S.A. would require at least 3 western languages in all numbered grades.

    I don't want PRs to lose their identity but if they're truly going to be U.S. citizens, they need to be U.S. citizens 100 percent. The same goes for the Guamanians and the U.S. Virgin Islanders.
     
  11. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #11
    well
    1.i didn't know that puerto rico wasn't independent
    2.if they are citizens of the USA , why are they not allowed to vote ?
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #12
    takao, voting originally was limited to citizens who were residents of the states. It took a lot of politics to get a change such that residents of the District of Columbia could vote.

    So, folks from Guam, PR and the VI have all the rights of citizenship but for the vote.

    If PR became independent, do you reckon the $22 billion a year they now get from the feds would stop?

    Yeah, there are tax breaks for corporate doings there. The reason is simple: Without the breaks they wouldn't be there. The jobs they provide wouldn't exist. This came about in an effort to raise the standard of living of the Riqueños. Same sort of deal for the Caribbean Nations Initiative; create jobs and increase the money flow.

    'Rat
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #13
    Are you saying you approve of taxes being used that way, or are you just telling us how it is? Because I thought you were opposed to using taxes to shape behavior.
     
  14. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #14
    mac, I guess I'm elastic on how taxation is used. If the use directly benefits working or want-to-work people, I'm generally not opposed. Always remember that in my view, the consumer--one way or another--pays all taxes, including those of corporations. Contemporaneously, if I see that costs to the consumer outweigh benefits to corporations or working folks, I'm against the tax breaks. This is an area for case-by-case judgement, IMO, and I claim neither consistency nor infallibility.

    The limit of my knowledge about the deal in Puerto Rico is that the purpose was to create jobs, and SFAIK that happened. What's happened in the intervening 30 or so years? I dunno.

    'Rat
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #15
    Of course the consumer pays all taxes; poop always flows downhill as the saying goes. ;)
     
  16. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #16
    The IOC uses an unconventional definition of a nation, that is why PR has its own team. The treaty between PR and the US gives defense and the ability to make treaties to the US, so the territory is not sovereign.
    The US only looks like a democracy :) Presidents are really elected by the states, not by the people. In the case of Washington D.C., a special constitutional amendment had to be passed to allow it to participate. The territories do have delegates in Congress, but those delegates are not allowed to vote (again, because they do not represent states).
     
  17. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #17
    so to describe it in the best way possible ..what would be fitting? "complete mess with 10% more bureaucracy" or "politicians & law-writers wonderland"
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    Military-industrial corporate oligarchy with a veneer of democracy?
     
  19. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #19
    That would be a great summary. The outcome of our civil war badly damaged the balance of power between the states and the federation, and only a deliberate misreading of out original and current constitution allowed that outcome.

    I do hope that voters in the EU see the same potential problem with the proposed constitution there; the unspecified conditions attached to leaving, and the provisions against terrorism that fail to define terrorism, are scary.
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #20
    Oh yes, we see it all right...
     
  21. macsrus macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Glad to know someone else listened in School....
     
  22. The Muffin Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Perhaps a vote should be cast every ten years in Puerto Rico. When the results change from what they are currently, actions may be taken to change PR's status as a territory.
     
  23. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #23
    To be honest DC should also be considered for the 51st or 52nd state.
     

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